Respect Yo’self!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for you!
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happy woman outside

Pare down the to-dos. In a quest to do everything, some women simply don’t give themselves the time necessary to accomplish all they set out to do. Not only that, but a lot of things you might feel you have to do are things you really don’t want to do. So, don’t. You’d be surprised by how many seemingly mandatory things are actually optional. Before you agree to head up a committee at your son’s school or go on a double date with your awkward across-the-street neighbors, ask yourself what you think or feel about it, suggests Tessina. If you’re already dreading the prospect of trying to hold a conversation with your neighbors, it’s ok to say no. Eliminate the extraneous and devote your energies to the stuff that makes you feel excited, not exhausted.

Lean on friends. “When we are setting and achieving goals in the company of others, we’re more likely to make progress and thus more likely to recognize just how strong and talented we are,” says Jennifer Stone, founder of Goal Groups International, a collaborative work consultancy in Burlington, V.T. In your mind, come up with a group of people who’ve got your back no matter what. Then, make sure to keep them in the loop about what’s going on in your life—both the positives and the negatives—and make plans to catch up in person. “When we talk face-to-face with our friends about our accomplishments and struggles, our stress hormones decrease, our memory increases and our overall mood lifts,” explains Stone. “We also benefit greatly from nonverbal displays of encouragement, empathy and enthusiasm that come from nods, smiles, eyebrow lifts, a tilt of the head.” Can’t get together with your crew? Even an informal e-mail chain with your college friends where everyone is encouraged to share minor accomplishments—like a successful meeting with your boss—can help you appreciate your talents.

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Make a list (and check it often). Write a list of all the things you love about yourself, suggests Carolina Caro, a life coach in Los Angeles, and put it somewhere you can easily access when your confidence feels shaky, like in a note on your phone. The list can range from physical attributes to accomplishments to compliments you’ve gotten in the past. “Women are quick to find the beauty in others, but we forget to do that for ourselves,” she says. Making a point to notice and appreciate the positives—and repeating them to yourself—will make the behavior more automatic over time.

Summon your inner Sasha Fierce. Beyonce has a confident, sassy alterego—and you should, too, according to Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. Lombardo suggests you give your confident self a name, and when you’re in a situation that makes you feel unsure, ask what she’d do in the same situation. Then do it. “This trick takes the focus off yourself for a moment and can give you the push you need to stop thinking and take action,” she says. No alterego immediately springing to mind? Think of someone whose self-confidence you admire. This role model could be a celebrity, it could be an old boss, or it could even be your always-cool-in-any-social-circumstance grandma.

In no time, people will be summoning their inner you.

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41 thoughts on “Respect Yo’self!

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